Major steps on Covid vaccine patent waiver plan
The director general of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says negotiators have made a major step towards a deal on waiving patents for coronavirus vaccines.
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India and South Africa argue that waiving vaccine manufacturers’ intellectual property rights will boost production and get more jabs to poorer countries.
They’ve agreed with the US and the EU on the agreement’s key elements – but some details need to be fleshed out and all WTO members need to back it.
Pharmaceutical firms have criticised the process, saying that weakening patents when supply constraints had eased is a mistake.